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Pop CultureNovember 26, 2015

Television: The Block NZ Power Rankings Week 8 – Wall You Marry Me?


Somebody pops the question next week on The Block NZ – but is it Jeremy proposing to the love of his life Cat, Sarah’s boyfriend to Sarah, or Mitch to this bit of GIB board he’s weirdly infatuated with? No idea, sorry, but here are the Power Rankings all the same.

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1. (Last Week: 3) Jamie & Hayden – House 1

Ah what the hell. They won Backyard Week at a canter, and now that the lush, carpet-like lawns have all been laid it’s become clear that Jamie and Hayden have been vastly underrated all along. It’s mostly, but not entirely, judge Jason’s fault. He and Bernadette – the Richard Hammond to his Jeremy Clarkson – met with the girls in the courtyard of an Eden Terrace cafe this week and blithely mocked all their hard work, proving once and for all that nobody should listen to a word he says.

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Maybe a middle New Zealand mum and dad will be put off Jamie and Hayden’s stark black walls and their cafe kitchen, but… Middle New Zealand probably isn’t buying >$1million houses on the Sandringham / Mt Roskill border these days. It’s either going to be a cool thirty-something couple who work in law, say, or advertising, or a property investor looking to rent. Their house is absolutely made for the former and offers plenty of upside for the latter.

The most significant moment for Jamie and Hayden this week came when Hayden shaved off his beard, wreaking total havoc with the show’s continuity. He turned up clean shaven to the Birdman challenge on Tuesday, but then it was back on Wednesday when they went shopping for kitchen stuff. All signs point to a Beatlesesque conspiracy in which the real, bearded Hayden died and they had to get Matthew Ridge to fill in for him.

2. (LW: 2) Brooke & Mitch – House 4

The conniving Cantabs continue to suffer the consequences of their foray into strategic scoring. Cat and Jeremy followed through on their handshake promise to exclude them from backyard judging contention, effectively handing the $5000 to Jamie and Hayden, but perhaps more emotionally damaging was Cat and Jamie conspiring to hide their toilet paper and toothbrushes.

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Confronting the pair, Brooke’s laughter betrayed a deep hurt. “Mitch isn’t very happy,” she said. “He thinks it’s an invasion of privacy.” What is this, New Zealand’s Next Top Solicitor? Brooke probably would make a very good lawyer.

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One unforgivable act, and the world has turned on them. They’re all alone in the Grammar Zone. They’re starting to second guess themselves – those were all perfectly valid Scrabble words – and they’re spending the last of their fortune in increasingly wild, irresponsible ways. What’s this, a Willy Wonka flavoured wall? Fine…

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3. (LW: 1) Cat & Jeremy – House 3

Cat and Jeremy’s polite and unconfrontational nature cost them $5000 in Backyard Week. Are the good Kiwi jokers just too Kiwi for their own good? They’re now flat broke and Jeremy has been reduced to rummaging around in skips for things he can sell for scrap like Stig of the Dump.

Cat, meanwhile, has been dipping her toe in the the infinity pool of Auckland Council bureaucracy to see if she can get House 3’s address changed so it’s in the same zone as Sonny Bill Williams’ old school.

Maybe they’re better off just making sure they finish their kitchen and hallway on time for once. They had the honour of an audience with Peter Hay from Peter Hay Kitchens this week, and Cat possibly grifted some poor paint shop employee out of a bucket of Wash’n’Wear, so they’re off to the best possible start.

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4. (LW: 4) Sarah & Minanne – House 2

No surprise that Sarah and Minanne’s backyard came last in the dumb eyes of the judges. Their win in the couples’ judging, while less rewarding financially, was arguably more gratifying – they cried tears of joy, and it was truly one of the great Block moments.

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They sauntered into the week with a newfound confidence, and it carried over to Tuesday night’s absurd Birdman challenge, where a bikini-clad Sarah wooed Colin Mathura-Jeffree. By far the show’s biggest celebrity guest, he rewarded her with by far the show’s biggest prize –  something like $17million worth of double glazing. Even a leaky bulkhead  – the bitter tears of The Block ghost? – couldn’t get them down.

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All week the show seems to have been foretelling great pain and suffering for Sarah and Minanne at this week’s judging. “No,” sobs Sarah, “I just don’t think that’s fair.” But look again – what’s Minanne up to? Minanne looks stoked! It looks for all money that the Bad Thing happens to someone else – look at Brooke’s face, on the verge of crumbling – and that Sarah and Minanne are going to be just fine.

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